After I finished up with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: The 7th Stand User, I decided to play some more RPG Maker games because that’s my Brand(TM). I decided to make good on a promise I barely remember months ago that I would check out some stuff from the Misaos, that one RPG Maker community award thing.
I ended up going with Villnoire, an RPG made by Little Wing Guy. Development on Villnoire started back in 2008, having multiple cancellations and resets. However, Villnoire finally released last year, a success story in never giving up.
In the titular world of Villnoire, the Inchor empire is openly committing genocide against the Druids, magically attuned people who have been pushed into hiding. A man named Lukas, a defector, hoped to live a quiet life away from it all but is thrown back into the conflict when a druid named Vivian approaches him, with hopes that he can help with the dangerous mission of assassinating the leader of Inchor.
After the game’s prologue, we’re taken into the game’s past where Lukas is clearly more of a reluctant savior. My man is initially tricked into getting involved, and only becomes more interested when his friend’s life is threatened and that he’s being targeted regardless of whether he chooses to help the druids or not. I appreciate his reluctance, because being set up as the savior of a people being oppressed by the people he belongs would be… hmmm….
It doesn’t fully fall into that either because Reyson is ultimately the one calling the shots. This druid man is out here wanting to assassinate the ruler of the country oppressing his people and I’m all for it. While his daughter, Vivian, has the same general goal, she’s kinda iffy on killing enemy soldiers. She isn’t in full centrist mode though because she’s perfectly happy with deceit and killing out of self-defense, so I respect her.
The weakest part of Villnoire to me is Zach. So, Zach sticks out like a sore thumb not only because he acts like a snarky MCU character, but because at the present moment… he feels like he’s just kinda there? In fact, the game even repeatedly lampshades how he’s just hanging around with characters talking and telling him to go away or being “oh yeah, I guess you can come too.” He has one saving grace though and that he’s really into killing Inchor soldiers. That rules. He’s still annoying though and, at the current moment, it feels like he doesn’t have a place in the story.
Villnoire‘s battle system is your standard RPG Maker 2003 ATB system. There are elemental weaknesses, but that aspect of combat is super simplified, with the only elements being light and dark. You don’t need to remember enemy weaknesses either because those are randomly assigned to enemies, with enemy names being colored to openly indicate their element. It’s a nice convenience that helps speed battles along, and I admire it as a practical choice.
Encounters are quick to fight through, though enemies attack hard enough that losing momentum can put you behind. The game encourages the use of skills through the use of the Overflow mechanic, which lets you do some limit break styled skill after using four skills. Though, I haven’t actually used an Overflow skill because 1) I forget to use them and 2) you can still easily do boss battles without the use of Overflow. However, in the case of boss battles, you’ll be spamming enough skills that there’s no reason for you to not use an Overflow skill, so it’s more of a nice extra tool to depend on in fights.
Weirdly, my opinion on Villnoire‘s aesthetics mirrors my opinion on Ara Fell. When it comes to visuals, both games have a large amount of hand-crafted maps that are well detailed. They both really succeed at the high-quality 16-bit RPG look. When it comes to music though, I kinda don’t care? Villnoire‘s music feels too subdued for my tastes, though unlike its contemporary, it at least has battle themes.
Also both games just kinda have arbitrary crafting systems, though Villnoire‘s crafting is super simplified enough that it doesn’t hurt to engage with it.
Villnoire is pretty alright so far. The game is reportedly around 12 hours long and I’m about 3 to 4 hours in with three parts out, so that’s a decent chunk of the game done. And that makes me think of one more thing: there really should be more small to mid-lengthed RPGS. I have so many RPGs to play but so little time to actually play through them, so I’ve come to really value RPGs on the shorter side.